History of the Edged Tool : James Bowie and Sandbar Brawl

We are a knife company owned and operated by true knife junkies. We (as owners of Raven Crest Tactical) love all things knife related, especially knife stories and history. In this series we are going to share some historical / ceremonial / cultural and religious stories regarding edged weapons. Get ready because we are coming out of the gates hot with this series..

James Bowie and the Sandbar Fight

James Bowie, that name may sound familiar to some.. Ever heard of the “Bowie Knife”, here is what one looks like:


Well James Bowie created the Bowie Knife and here is what James Bowie looked like, you know he is serious business because of those monster mutton chops:


What you may not know is the truly epic knife fight that took place between James Bowie and Major Norris Wright. Now when I say epic, I am not just throwing that around loosely, James Bowie was as tough as coffin nails.

Let’s dive in and find out why….

On September 19, 1827, both James Bowie and Major Norris Wright attended a duel on a sandbar outside of Natchez, Mississippi. Bowie supported duelist Samuel Levi Wells III, while Wright favored Dr. Thomas Harris Maddox.

To put this In modern day terms, James Bowie was a Green Bay Packers Fan and Major Norris Wright was a Chicago Bears fan and they both went to watch their team play each other.  With about 16 other fans.

The duelists each fired two shots and missed, and as neither man was injured they resolved their duel with a handshake.

In case you didn’t catch that, both duelist got their shot off at each other, both duelists missed, both duelists then shook hands and considered their issue resolved. At this point the story should be over, but oh no, this is where it starts to get good.

In my mind at this point in the story the people who showed up to this duel were disappointed at the results. I think they were restless and wanted to see some blood shed (again this is banter, but it makes sense if you think about it). Come on people, think back to Junior High or High School fights.. Everyone there is so amped up, they want to see carnage, they want to see their “buddy” win… What these people got wasn’t carnage, they got a handshake.

As both duelists turned to leave, Bowie came forward to meet them. Seeing this, Maddox’s friends ran forward to join the group. Two men in this group had previously fought and still had an ongoing issue to settle. Man one is named “Cuny” and man two is named “Crain”. Crain, is recorded as having called out to Cuny, “Col. Crain, this is a good time to settle our difficulty.” After that, Crain drew his weapon and fired, missing Cuny but striking Bowie in the hip and knocking him to the ground. Cuny and Crain then exchanged fire, with Crain sustaining a flesh wound in the arm and Cuny dying from a shot to the chest.

Let’s stop one more time and just evaluate what happened…. Both duelists, who’s issues are now settled are shaking hands and Bowie comes forward to meet them. Who knows why, but what this does is put Bowie right in the middle of another “unsanctioned” duel that is about to go down between two other guys who were also attending the duel. The first duelists fired and missed his intended target, but instead hit Bowie in the hip. The second duelists fired and killed the first duelist who struck Bowie.  What Bowie did next is what has made him a legend…


Bowie, rising to his feet, drew his knife and charged at the remaining duelist, who struck Bowie so hard on his head with his empty pistol that it broke the pistol and sent Bowie to his knees. Then, at that moment, Major Norris Wright appeared (remember he was the guy who was rooting for the other team), drew a pistol, and shot at the fallen Bowie, missing. Wright then drew his sword cane and stabbed Bowie in the chest, but the thin blade was deflected by Bowie’s sternum. As Wright attempted to pull the blade free, Bowie reached up, grabbed his shirt, and pulled him down upon the point of his Bowie knife. Wright died quickly, and Bowie, with Wright’s sword still protruding from his chest, was shot again and stabbed by another member of the group. As Bowie stood, pulling the sword cane from his chest, two more men fired at him, and he was struck once in the arm. Bowie spun and cut off part of one of men’s forearms.

I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s just try to paint the entire picture here: You have a bunch of amped up men who were just disappointed by the duel they came to see. They paid good money to travel to see two guy shoot and kill each other. That didn’t happen at all. In the midst of the crowds breaking up, two guys who have beef with one another realize that they are both in the same spot, and that spot it hot. Now I am sure that they had friends in each one of their ears pumping them up. They were probably mean mugging and talking trash to each other (relative to their time of course). Well it eventually got real and they decide that they were just gonna settle their issues right there and right now. They didn’t even wait for people to get out of the way, they just pulled their pieces and started firing. Hence, James Bowie gets accidentally shot in the hip. Well that seemed to really anger James Bowie and I can fully understand why. All he wanted to do was support his buddy and then all of a sudden some fool shoots him in the hip. And back then it wasn’t like he could just call 911 and get to a hospital or Urgent Care. Getting shot back then was serious business. From there James Bowie turns into a 1800’s version of Chuck Norris and just annihilates everyone in his path, with just his knife.

The Battle of the Sandbar lasted more than 10 minutes, leaving 2 dead, and another four wounded. But believe it or not, James Bowie was not part of the 2 dead. Even after being shot numerous times and stabbed in the chest with a cane sword, James Bowie still went Beast Mode on his attackers and lived. One of the doctors who treated Bowie’s wounds went on record saying this: “How he (Bowie) lived is a mystery to me, but live he did.”

So if you are ever in a discussion about who is the baddest mad don’t forget about James Bowie and battle at the Sandbar.


101 Ways to Use a Knife : How to Start a Fire (Part 2 of 2)

In part 1 of our series on how to start a fire, we went over how to use a knife to create useable planks of wood out of a large log. These planks are the long term fuel for your fire. In this article we are going to go over how to prepare your kindling, or quick ignite material that will actually start your fire. Then we will go over how to ignite that kindling and start a fire.

Tools Needed:

1. Knife
2. Flint / Magnesium Striker

Step 1 : Find your Kindling

Most locations are going to have some sort of dry material to use as kindling, so this step shouldn’t be too labor intensive. Dry leaves, dry branches, dry tree bark works great as kindling. The goal is to get dry “quick igniting” material. You want material that is going to catch on fire right away. If you can’t find anything suitable, a swatch of cloth or clothing will also do.


Step 2 : Prepare your Kindling

This step is simply bunching your kindling together in a way that keeps it in a tight and compact formation.


Step 3: Shave Magnesium Filings onto your Kindling

For this step you need to have a magnesium flint stone like the one you can find on our firestarter paracord bracelets.

Having a fire starting tool like this is extremely useful in a survival scenario, because it allows you to skip so many tedious steps. Generating a spark is a lot harder than it looks and it is a fact that with no spark you get no fire. Having a tool like this makes generating a spark extremely easy. We recommend anytime you camp, fish, hunt, hike travel that you carry a “shortcut” way to start a fire like our firestarter paracord bracelet.


On our bracelets we have a “rake” that will allow you to shave off the magnesium, but if you have a knife it makes the process quicker and allows you to easily make larger slices of magnesium which increases the chances of your fire starting up the first time. Again a knife isn’t required to shave the magnesium off of our bracelets, it just makes it easier.


Take the edge of your knife and firmly press it against the magnesium striker. While still holding the magnesium striker firmly, slowly grind the edge of the knife up and down again the magnesium striker so that it creates slivers or flakes of the magnesium metal. Do this over your kindling so that the flakes or slivers accumulate on your kindling. You will want to be careful because if you grind the edge of the blade against the magnesium too fast it will generate a spark and possibly prematurely start your fire. How much magnesium you need is dependent upon the type of kindling you have. For our example we had pretty dry twigs and some dry leaves so it did not take much.

The magnesium shavings will act as a sparking accelerator for your fire, so try to keep the shavings bunched together in one central area. This will make the magnesium much more effective. Also make sure that the area you put your magnesium shavings on has the driest kindling available.

Step 4: Spark it Up

Once you have setup your kindling and added your magnesium shavings, it is time to add the spark to the fuel. The goal would be to hit your magnesium shavings with the sparks you generate from your magnesium stone. Once the magnesium shavings are hit with a spark, they will begin to pop, spark and ignite anything combustible that is around it.


To generate sparks, firmly hold the magnesium in one hand while in the other hand quickly rake the edge of your knife against the magnesium stone. This friction will generate large volumes of sparks. If you miss your target keep raking, the faster and harder you rake the magnesium the more sparks you will generate. **NOTE** Please be extremely safe when raking your knife against your magnesium. Be aware of your fingers and keep your hands safe.

Once again our firestarter paracord bracelets have a built in abrasive rake that will also allow you to create sparks without the knife.


There you have go, it is really that easy. With these 2 simple EDC tools you can legitimately start a fire in under 30 minutes.

Tools Used:

1. Nemesis Serrated OTF Knife


2. Paracord Firestarter Bracelet


101 Ways to Use a Knife : Knife Throwing

Knife throwing is not only a useful skill to know for survival purposes, but it is also extremely challenging and fun. In this article we are going to go over some knife throwing fun we had with one of our Nemesis OTF knives. Because of the weight of our knife, we wanted to try the “no spin” knife throwing technique. Here was our results

Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding our shoot:

First, the thrower (co-owner Nate Mirand) had no proper training in how to “no spin” throw a knife or any other knife throwing technique. This was the first time he had ever thrown a knife. The techniques used were quickly learned off of the internet the same day as filming.

Second, the knife being used isn’t a brand new, out of the box knife. It is Nate Mirand’s personal OTF knife that he carries with him everyday. There was nothing different about this particular knife compared to any other Nemesis OTF we could have pulled off the shelf. This OTF wasn’t “beefed up” or modified in any way, it is a stock Nemesis OTF with a black out kit. This knife is 2 years old, gets used every single day, has only been sharpened once, and has been used in many of our torture test videos.

The Grip

If you are familiar with knife throwing then you know that the no spin technique has a little bit of a unique grip.

First the handle is not held in the usual manner, it is held between the index finger and thumb, as near to the end of the handle as possible.



The remaining fingers are wrapped around the handle at the end using as tight a grip as possible. Keep all fingers as near to the end of the handle as possible, but keep the forefinger pressed up against the top of the handle.


The Stance

Your stance and balance should be solid, but relaxed until you are ready to make your throw. Nate is right-handed so his left leg is in front as the lead leg. His right leg is behind, but not so far back as to lose momentum or balance. Both feet should be about shoulder width apart. When you throw the knife, the follow through is all-important. Remember, its the forefinger that controls the knife, press it tightly along the handle and try to wipe it along the handle top as the knife goes.





The Cleanup

When you are done with throwing your OTF knife be sure to clean off any tree sap or debris from the blade so that there aren’t any restrictions to the blade travel.


Final Words of Advice

First and foremost, if you are going to try your hand at knife throwing be sure you are doing it safely. That means knowing your area and all those around you. The last thing you want to do is throw a knife where you aren’t supposed to, or you hurt someone who wasn’t expecting a knife being thrown.

Once you find that secure and safe area for your knife throwing, we recommend standing as close to your target as needed to get a strike. That is, don’t start by standing 10 ft away from your target if this is your first time attempting to throw a knife. Instead, start 2 ft away and perform slow, methodical throws. These throws will build your muscle memory and your overall throwing mechanics. These throws will also build your confidence. Once you work out your mechanics at the close distance, then you can take a few steps back and try to throw again. Note, when you step back you will have to adjust the power you use to throw the knife. The farther back, the harder you have to throw. But the farther back, the more fun it is!

Here is a video of what this actually looked like in real time:

Knife Used in Filming:

Full Size Nemesis Serrated Black (Click Image to Purchase):

Raven Crest Tactical Nemesis OTF Knife


Thanks to Throwzini for the tips:

Top 5 “Peoples Choice” Christmas Gifts From Raven Crest Tactical 2014….

Looking through our website you can see that we like to offer a wide variety of OTF knives. We are the only OTF knife company that allows you custom build your own OTF knife from top to bottom. We are constantly trying to offer exciting and new designs, colors and finishes. This is part of what separates us from the rest.

All that being said, we know that some of your are “skimmers” and want a Cliff’s Notes version of our product line, so that you can quickly get that special someone that special gift they will never forget.

Look no further, this article is going to go over our Top 5 OTF knives decided by you our customers. This list is based on actual sales, so the #1 knife is the #1 knife that we sell, not the knife we think is #1.

Before we get into which OTF knives are our top sellers, let’s discuss why you should purchase a Raven Crest Tactical OTF knife as a gift.

Top 3 Reasons to Give a RCT OTF as a Gift:

1. A Rare Gift Guaranteed to Impress:

A Raven Crest Tactical OTF knife is not like any other knife that you can find at the big chain stores. Why is that important? Because if you are looking for a special gift that will surprise and impress, then you want that gift to be something that can’t be easily found at your local big box store’s sporting goods section. You would want to find that gift that no one has ever even seen or heard of before. You would want the gift that makes people wonder how you even found out about it. Look no further, that gift is one of our OTF knives.

Now, let me ask you this: Have you ever bought what you thought was the perfect gift but then found out you either paid too much, the person you bought the gift for wasn’t as impressed as you thought they would be, or you didn’t get all you could have for your money? Yep us too, that feeling stinks. But, be assured none of that will not happen with us.

First, most people have never even seen or held one of our OTF knives. So when someone puts one of our OTF knives in their hands for the first time, they get an almost adolescent level of excitement. That is just how well built our OTF knives are, all it takes is putting one in your hand and we guarantee you that you will be impressed. We have seen this effect in men and women of all ages.

Secondly, you don’t have to worry about not getting the right gift, every one of our knives is guaranteed to be the right gift. Our knives come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you aren’t completely blown away by what you receive from us we will refund or replace your purchase.

2. Quality:

Every Raven Crest Tactical OTF knife is made out of high quality materials and is built to be tank tough. Every one of our OTF knives are hand built, quality tested, and hand sharpened in Gilbert, Arizona. We have put these knives through numerous extreme torture tests that prove just how strong and reliable they are. When you pick up and feel one of our knives, you will instantly know that it is a serious tool and not a toy.

3. Warranty and Pricing:

Fact: We have hands down the BEST warranty in the OTF knife market, yet we price our knives much lower than our competition.

Our warranty is a lifetime, no questions asked, full coverage warranty that will cover anything and everything on and in the the knife (except of theft) for the life of the knife. It doesn’t matter what you do to it, or how you do it, we will either fix it or replace it. Forever. No fine print. No questions asked. Guaranteed.

Fact: When you buy one of our OTF knives, you are getting one of the highest quality OTF knives on the market, with the best warranty available on the market, at a price that cannot be matched.

With a Raven Crest Tactical OTF knife you can buy with 100% confidence.

The Top 5 OTF Knives:

#1 – Build Your Own Custom Knife (Click Image to Purchase)


#2 – Full Size Nemesis Serrated Black (Click Image to Purchase)

Raven Crest Tactical Nemesis OTF Knife

#3 – Mini Nemesis Series (Click Images to Purchase)



#4 – Spartan (Click Image to Purchase)


#5 Titan Bravo Serrated (Click Image to Purchase)